This hearty soda bread is filled with fresh figs and orange zest. It makes for a delicious addition to breakfast or a great snack!
A few weeks ago I went to a taping of The Chew. From the absolute last row of the studio, we watched them make grilled cheeses, burgers and milkshakes without getting to enjoy a single bite. The taping started at 9am, we were out of the building by 10:45 standing on the streets of New York and completely ravenous. Since we had absolutely no idea where we could get the soda shop episode food we just watched at that time of the morning, we headed to Eataly instead knowing we would definitely be able to find something there to make our growling stomachs happy.
Within minutes, I was standing in front of the bakery section faced with the decision of what $8 loaf of bread I was going to bring home. Somehow, I made a decision (without drooling all over the display case) and a fig & orange loaf ended up in my bag.
In what can be explained as nothing other than divine intervention, I somehow managed to not attack it on the 80 minute train ride home and actually waited until I got back inside my house, in my kitchen and took out a plate like a civilized person.
What happened next is probably not even fit for internet consumption. It might have been the most intense moment I’ve ever had with a piece of food, we’ll leave it at that.
The bread lasted all of 18 hours in our house and was finished by the time lunch rolled around the following day. Needless to say, it needed to be recreated.
Which brings me to this.
Eataly used dried figs, I used fresh. Eataly’s didn’t have walnuts, I added some. Theirs was in the shape of a loaf, I decided to go the soda bread looking route (which it kind of is anyway sans the whole yeast thing). I’m pretty sure we used a different combination of flours too. But the fig & orange flavor is what made that bread and that’s exactly what makes this one.
It’s hearty and dense and if you rip off a warm piece straight out of the oven with some butter and honey you might find yourself sitting over the finished photo shoot inhaling an entire section of it by yourself.
Although, you probably don’t take pictures of your food, so maybe not.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and flour a baking sheet, set aside.
- Combine flours, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
- Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in buttermilk.
- Loosely combine with a spatula.
- Add figs, orange zest and walnuts and fold in with a spatula.
- Once dough starts to come together, transfer to a floured countertop and knead together until it forms a ball.
- Transfer ball of dough onto the baking sheet and with a sharp serrated knife, make an "X" in the top, slicing about ⅔ of the way through the dough.
- Brush the top of the dough with the melted butter and sprinkle oats on top.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown on the top and center is no longer raw/doughy.
- Best served warm with butter and honey.